Another year-end holiday shopping rush is just around the corner. The weeks leading up to holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chinese New Year could drive high-intent online shoppers to e-commerce sites, starting to search for the perfect gift and the best deals possible.
The global digital revenue in 2019 is estimated to increase 15 percent with total online sales of US$768 billion. There is no doubt that the holiday season is a critical time for many brands. However, not every brand will get a piece of the profits. The challenge for marketers lies in finding ways to make their brands stand out and make the most of the occasion.
By carefully planning your marketing campaigns around the occasion well in advance, you will see significant increases in online traffic and conversion rates. Here are five essentials that you need to do now, in order to reap the rewards.
1. Gain a Complete Picture of Your Audience
As technology continues to advance, physical stores are no longer the only channel for today’s shoppers. On average, 90 percent of Asian consumers prefer to shop through digital channels (mobile, app or desktop) in combination with physical ones to compare prices and find the best deals. As consumers hop from device to device and channel to channel, building accurate profiles of your audience segments is key to precise targeting, and data is instrumental in achieving that.
Using customer data to build a single customer view based upon past online behaviors will enable you to cut through the competition’s clutter. This requires you to combine first-, second- and third-party data to derive the necessary insights that will help you with audience segmentation and yielding the best results.
First-party data enables you to identify the most valuable audience from your existing customers and what their shopping habits and preferences are during the holiday season. In addition to that, you will also want to enhance your customer profiling by integrating second-party data from partner sites and third-party data from a data provider to gain additional insights into consumers’ browsing behaviors, interest and shopping intent on external sites.
2. Customer segmentation
To maximize your sales this holiday season, you not only need to know who the right audiences are, but also what their interests and intent are. Use artificial intelligence (AI) to crunch all the data, and you can gain insights that allow you to create effective audience segments, and develop relevant offers and messaging accordingly, rather than use “mass market” spray and pray tactics.
By analyzing data on customers’ browsing patterns, AI can rank each segment’s interests and intent based on the products they have viewed not only on your website and app, but also on external sites, and then map their interest based on popularity or uniqueness to figure out what kind of holiday promotion makes them tick.
3. Optimize Your Mobile Strategy
Do you know that 78 percent of consumers in Asia Pacific used their smartphones to make online purchases during the holiday season in 2018? And 60 percent of them prefer shopping in-app over a mobile browser. That means if you are not prioritizing this channel, you will miss out on a lot of traffic and sales later.
So, how can you optimize your mobile marketing strategy to maximize holiday sales? Apart from getting the basics right, such as responsive web design and a simplified checkout section on your site or in your app, more importantly, you need to know your most valuable customers. Using deep learning to analyze customer behaviors in real time and predict who have a higher chance of converting. You can then prioritize your effort to retarget those customers.
In addition, 79 percent of consumers would purchase directly from a mobile ad if the product was relevant to them. So, leverage personalized push notifications, timely in-app messages, and relevant SMS offers to drive engagement, and boost conversions.
4. Leverage the Power of Email marketing
Solid email marketing can make a big difference to your holiday sales. To stand out in a crowded inbox, you need to segment your audience and personalize the email content based on their interest.
For instance, for new subscribers, you might want to send a small gift to welcome them, let them know that the product they are looking at on your website is selling fast, or include details about the special services you offer during the holiday season.
On the other hand, for your loyal customers, offer an early access to the upcoming sales or extra points for purchases during December.
There are also hesitant customers who shop from you occasionally, but most of the time, they tend to be indecisive and end up abandoning the cart. You can leverage machine learning to identify this group of customers, and send a follow-up email with a special holiday coupon for the items they viewed or left in the cart, to motivate their purchase decision.
5. Don’t Forget Social Media
Last but not least, social media is vital for amplifying your marketing messages and engaging with potential consumers. Make sure you decorate your social media page based on the holiday theme, and schedule your holiday content accordingly.
Of course, there is also advertising. In the already cluttered realm of social space, you don’t want to broadcast generic information that can be easily skipped, or worse, become annoying. To ensure your ads are personalized and engaging, you need to know exactly who you want to reach. Use deep learning to analyze customer behavior and identify the most valuable segments to bid on. It can also provide insight on finding discrete segments to reduce the overlap , so you can allocate your effort and budget on the audience most likely to take the desired action.
The holiday season can be a goldmine for e-commerce players. Nail the above five aspects, you will surely be capitalizing on the holiday shopping rush, and making this holiday season your best one yet!
* Want to know more about how you can use AI to optimize your audience segmentation and app marketing for this holiday season? Get in touch with us now!